Syngas production from pyrolysis-catalytic steam reforming of waste biomass in a continuous screw kiln reactor

Chidi E. Efika, Chunfei Wu, Paul T. Williams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


A two-stage continuous screw-kiln reactor was investigated for the production of synthesis gas (syngas) from the pyrolysis of biomass in the form of waste wood and subsequent catalytic steam reforming of the pyrolysis oils and gases. Four nickel based catalysts; NiO/Al2O3, NiO/CeO2/Al2O3, NiO/SiO2 (prepared by an incipient wetness method) and another NiO/SiO2 (prepared by a sol-gel method), were synthesized and used in the catalytic steam reforming process. Pyrolysis of the biomass at a rapid heating rate of approximately 40°C/s, was carried out at a pyrolysis temperature of 500°C and the second stage reforming of the evolved pyrolysis gases was carried out with a catalytic bed kept at a temperature of 760°C. Gases were analysed using gas chromatography while the fresh and reacted catalyst was analysed by scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, transmission electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The reactor design was shown to be effective for the pyrolysis and catalytic steam reforming of biomass with a maximum syngas yield of 54.0 wt.% produced when the sol-gel prepared NiO/SiO2 catalyst was used, which had the highest surface area of 765 m2 g-1. The maximum H 2 production of 44.4 vol.% was obtained when the NiO/Al 2O3 catalyst was used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomass
  • Catalyst
  • Gasification
  • Nickel
  • Pyrolysis
  • Reforming
  • Screw kiln

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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